Field R&D Manager, Trece Inc.
Bio: Higbee is Field R&D Manager for Trécé Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in insect pheromone and kairomone products. After attending the University of California, Irvine, he began his career as a technician with the USDA-ARS in Yakima, WA. Over nearly 40 years, his work has included the development of biological control programs for pests of pears, insect predator rearing techniques, pioneering efforts in the use of insect hormones for the control of a key homopteran pest of pears in the Pacific Northwest, and managing two Codling Moth Areawide Projects pivotal in the integration of mating disruption into the pest management programs in the apple and pear industries. In 2002, he established a research laboratory for Paramount Farming Co. (now Wonderful Orchards). His work there included research leading to the implementation of mating disruption for control of navel orangeworm, along with the overall development of pest management tactics and programs for pests in almonds, pistachios, and pomegranates. He has published more than 60 research articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and three book chapters, and has served on numerous industry and professional committees.
Cherre Bezerra Da Silva
Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University
Bio: Bezerra Da Silva’s main research focus is biological control of pests, as well as chemical and behavioral ecology of insects. He has contributed to pest control tools for fruit trees by implementing economic thresholds, monitoring methods, and evaluating IPM programs to optimize sustainable practices for the fruit industry. As a postdoc, he is developing tactics and tools that predict risk of crop damage by spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on small fruits, conducting studies on SWD population movement, biological control, and monitoring tools, and combining laboratory experiments with on-farm and research station studies.
Professor & Extension Specialist Horticultural Entomology/Plant Protection, Kansas State University
Bio: Dr. Cloyd is the Extension specialist in horticultural entomology for the state of Kansas. His research and Extension program involves pest management in greenhouses, nurseries, landscapes, turfgrass, conservatories, interiorscapes, Christmas trees, and vegetables and fruits, with specialty areas in plant protection, biological control, plant-insect interactions, insect ecology, pesticides, integrating pesticides with biological control agents, sanitation, and Extension. He has more than 80 scientific refereed publications to his credit and has published and in more than 800 trade journals on topics related to pest management and plant protection.In addition, he has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Greenhouse Pest Management, Pests and Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials, and Managing Greenhouse Insect and Mite Pests. Dr. Cloyd is a frequent speaker at state, national, and international conferences and seminars and has received numerous awards and honors including the American Society for Horticultural Sciences Outstanding Extension Educator Award 2012 and the 2011 Society of American Florists Alex Laurie Award for Research and Extension.
Owner, Quick Trading Company
Bio: Rosenthal is a leading expert on the cultivation of marijuana. He serves on the faculty of Oaksterdam University, the leading trade school for the cannabis industry, where his classes teach pupils how different techniques can be used to improve the yield and efficiency of their gardens. His books have sold well over a million copies, including Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, The Big Book of Buds series, Marijuana Garden Saver, and Best of Ask Ed. Rosenthal is also owner of Natural Garden Solutions, manufacturer of Ed Rosenthal’s Zero Tolerance pesticide and fungicide products. He views marijuana law as a crucial social issue and has been active in promoting and developing policies of civil regulation. While his career has focused on marijuana cultivation, he is an avid gardener of edible plants and flowers as well.
Managing Director, Agrimery Fresh Foods
Bio: Dr. Evans Baiya is a sought-after strategy, innovation, and commercialization consultant and speaker. He has experienced the innovation process from all angles as a research chemist, a process development engineer, a global leader of research and development efforts in multiple countries, and an intellectual property portfolio manager at a global corporation. Evans holds a PhD in engineering and technology development, an MBA, and has completed postgraduate studies in business strategy and intellectual property at Harvard Business School.
CEO, Valagro Spa
Bio: Giuseppe Natale holds the position of Chief Executive Officer at Valagro SpA. In 1980 he founded Farmer Italia s.n.c., today known as Valagro SpA, a multinational leader in the production and marketing of environmentally-friendly fertilizers for agricultural production, lawns, gardening and various industrial applications. In the Nineties, he led the company towards internationalization, initially on the European market and thereafter in the rest of the world. Today Valagro has 12 branch offices in 3 continents and, through its distributors, covers more than 80 countries all over the world.
Professor, Oaksterdam University
Bio: Jones has provided expertise in the medical cannabis field for more than 20 years. He co-founded the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative (OCBC) in 1995. With his assistance, the City of Oakland became the first U.S. City to contract with a medical cannabis provider, and to implement a successful city program to issue compassionate provider permits. He proved self-regulatory practices that would eventually become the tenets of Senate Bill 420 and the Attorney General Guidelines of 2008. He has been educating professionally as the horticulture expert, politics, and history instructor for Oaksterdam University since 2007. In 2010, Jones was co-proponent of the first legalization ballot measure in 30 years, Prop 19. He now serves on the Board of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR).
Senior Scientist, Acadian Plant Health (a divn. of Acadian Seaplants Ltd.)
Bio: Dr. Norrie’s career has focused on stress physiology, plant growth regulators, nutrition and biostimulant applications in fruit and vegetable crops, turf, and ornamentals. He has a strong background in greenhouse vegetable crop physiology and management with emphasis on substrate dynamics and water/environmental effects on plant nutrition. As a leader at Acadian Plant Health, he oversees research with universities, government agencies, and private R&D groups in more than 40 countries on marine-plant products as fertilizers and biostimulants in agriculture. Widely published, he is Adjunct Associate at Dalhousie University; past-VP-Industry and Fellow, American Society for Horticultural Science; past-President, Plant Growth Regulation Society of America; and past-President, Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists.
Founder and Vision Builder, Advancing Eco Agriculture
Bio: Kempf, an expert in the field of biological and regenerative farming, is the founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA), a crop nutrition consulting company. He founded AEA in 2006 to help fruit and vegetable growers by providing tools and strategies for increasing revenue with regenerative agriculture. Kempf is an internationally recognized lecturer on the topic of biological agriculture and plant immunity, with a unique ability to clearly explain very complex concepts in the areas of plant physiology, mineral nutrition, and soil microbiology.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Cornell University
Bio: Sanderson has 30 years of experience in research and Extension on integrated management of insect and mite pests of greenhouse crops at Cornell University. He is a member of the International Organization for Biological Control, and his Extension/research efforts emphasize greenhouse biological control tactics for a wide variety of greenhouse insect and mite pests. Current projects include the use of insect-killing nematodes for greenhouse pests, and aphid and thrips biological control. He speaks at regional and national greenhouse conferences and publishes articles in national trade magazines.
VP Ag & Env Research, Cotton Incorporated
Bio: Kater Hake is the Vice President of Agricultural and Environmental Research at Cotton Incorporated where he is responsible for the cotton production research program. Kater leads a team of 6 project managers who develop and support innovative problem-solving research with a network of 300 public sector scientists to increase the profitability and sustainability of cotton farming in the U.S. Kater came to Cotton Incorporated from a long career in cotton research and management. Most recently he was the Vice President of Technology Development at Delta & Pine Land Company. He has also held positions at Texas A&M University, The National Cotton Council, and the University of California. He holds 3 degrees from the University of California at Davis and at Riverside.
Technical Sales and Support, Beneficial Insectary
Bio: Vance is a technical consultant for Redding, CA’s Beneficial Insectary. Based in Salem, OR, he covers the Pacific Northwest region for the company, working directly with growers, helping them establish and maintain biological pest control programs for all types of crops. He has 16 years of experience as a licensed chemical applicator in Oregon and Florida, including 4 years in the greenhouse as IPM Manager for Fessler Nursery in Woodburn, OR. At Fessler, he developed and ran a large-scale bio-program covering 700,000 square feet of greenhouse space in crops ranging from mixed annuals, tropical houseplants, perennials and more.
Production Manager, Fessler Nursery
Bio: After developing a varied skill set in leadership roles in the grocery industry, Peterson followed his passion and entered the field of horticulture in 2001. He got his feet wet immediately by learning a multitude of positions and roles in the nursery environment, performing as a laborer, leader, and everything in between. His current role as a production manager allows him access to a wide range of duties and extraordinary opportunities for professional growth, and he is always looking for new perspectives, innovations, challenges, and knowledge.
Professor Entomology/Toxicology, University of British Columbia
Bio: As Professor of Entomology and Toxicology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and former Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Isman has performed extensive research for over 35 years in the areas of insect toxicology and behavior, with particular emphasis on the discovery and development of botanical insecticides. He has authored more than 200 refereed publications, including 28 book chapters, and co-edited two books. In 2011 he received the Gold Medal for outstanding achievement from the Entomological Society of Canada and was elected a Fellow of both the Entomological Society of America and the Royal Entomological Society in 2014. He received a doctorate in Entomology from the University of California at Davis in 1981.
Professor, Oaksterdam University
Bio: A certified master gardener, Darves is a lifelong advocate for social reform, sustainable horticulture, and community development. After receiving her B.A. in Sociology with Honors from the University of Oregon, Natalie went on to earn an Executive MBA in Wine Business at Sonoma State University. She has successfully executed projects of all sizes for wine and cannabis companies alike, contributing key insights and strategic partnerships every time. As a leader in both sustainable outdoor cannabis horticulture and business progressivism, Darves is a proponent of closed-loop, “beyond organic” models and has worked with numerous cannabis-cultivation groups to drive policy reform and develop farming best practices.
Orchard Specialist and Assistant Professor in the Horticulture Department, Oregon State University Extension
Bio: Nik Wiman is an orchard specialist and assistant professor in the department of horticulture at Oregon State University. He has been engaged in research on brown marmorated stink bug since 2012. This work has included making many of the initial discoveries of the populations of the pest across the states of Oregon and Washington. He has conducted research on pheromones, traps, flight behavior, and biological control with native predators and parasitoids. He played a role in the recent discoveries of the first populations of the exotic egg parasitoid Trissolcus japonicus in Washington and Oregon and has been heading up efforts to redistribute the parasitoid across Oregon.
Dir., Biopesticides & Pollution Prevention Div., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Bio: Bob McNally serves as the Director, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division, in EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). His Division includes over 50 scientists and risk managers who regulate pesticides used in organic agriculture, as well as biotechnology pesticide products. Previously, Bob led OPP's Field and External Affairs Division (FEAD) overseeing pesticide program efforts in EPA’s 10 Regions, as well as State and Tribal engagement. In this position, Bob also oversaw the development of proposed regulations to better protect farm workers handling pesticides and harvesting crops. Previously, Bob managed the re-evaluation of many older pesticides used in agriculture and by homeowners to ensure these pesticides meet 21st century human health and ecological risk assessment standards. Several of these pesticides were removed from the marketplace.
Other management positions at EPA included stints in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. In the latter office, Bob helped to lead a regulatory negotiation effort working with schools, the PTA, custodial unions and the asbestos industry to develop asbestos regulations governing the inspection and remediation of asbestos in school buildings.
Bob entered federal service as a Presidential Management Fellow working at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Office of Management and Budget. He received a graduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.
Owner, Buglady Consulting
Bio: Wainwright-Evans, a pest management specialist, has been involved in the green industry for more than two decades, and is now in her 15th year as owner of Buglady Consulting. Her primary focus is on biological control and proper use of pesticides. She has worked throughout the U.S. and internationally consulting to greenhouses, nurseries, landscapers, and interiorscape companies on pest issues.
Director of Growing, American Color, Inc.
Bio: Tom Costamagna has a long history of working with biocontrols that includes a ten-year stint working in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) with Dr. Michael Parrella, one of the key early researchers studying the implementation of biocontrol and biopesticide use in floriculture. He eventually transitioned to commercial horticulture, first as the Director of Plant Quality for Mid-American Growers in Granville, IL. and later as the National Production Manager for the Dümmen Orange. Currently he is the Director of Growing at American Color in Orange, VA. where he is responsible for all facets of growing and production.
Research Plant Physiologist, The University of Toledo
Bio: Dr. Zellner received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Biology from the University of Toledo in 2012 where she trained in molecular and cellular biology, focusing on the role of silicon in plant defense responses. Upon graduation, she pursued a four-year postdoctoral position with the USDA-ARS, where she continued studying the role of silicon in alleviating both abiotic and biotic stress in tomato and tobacco. Her current studies are to design standard methods for quantifying the uptake of silicon from fertilizer material in addition to identifying uptake mechanisms for silicon in model species and testing for similar pathways in other crops.
Asst. Dir. Pesticide Programs Divn., California Dept. of Pesticide Regulation
Senior Environmental Scientist, The Pesticide Registration Branch of DPR